I mean, if they're not out>"/>
I mean, if they're not out there grading frozen yogurt or arguing for taxes on soda pop, then they're just trying to get everyone's undies in a bunch over some new list of calorically unhealthy chain restaurant foods which...
Wait, how many calories are we talking here? 2680 for a burger, fries and a Coke at Five Guys? Okay, that's not too bad, I guess. I mean, you eat at Five Guys, you kinda get what you deserve. But how 'bout that nice and healthy looking pesto cream pasta at California Pizza Kitchen. That can't possibly be...
Wow. 1920 mg of sodium, huh? 49 grams of saturated fat? Okay, so maybe that a little worrisome.
According to the new "Xtreme Eating 2010" list from the CSPI (which reads kind of like an "America's Most Wanted" for extraordinarily unhealthy foods), there is just an awful lot of really bad stuff out there for people to eat. Even in these days of Michelle Obama, farmers markets, daily reports on the fattening of everyday Americans and a constant flood of video showing chunky ten-year-olds waddling around playgrounds gasping for breath and sweating lard from their pores, it seems that chain restaurants remain hell-bent of peddling slow death by way of cream sauce and melted cheese. And the CSPI is there to call them out on it in hopes of shaming them into changing their ways--or at least not trying to actively harm their most rotund of clientele.
This year's list of capital offenders includes the aforementioned Five Guys bacon cheeseburger (as lard-assy as jamming two McDonald's Quarter Pounders in your face at once), the Chocolate Tower Trouble Cake from The Cheesecake Factory (although, if you're eating something with "Trouble" in the name, I think you've been duly warned), the Double Pan-Fried Noodles from P.F. Chang's, pretty much everything on the menu at California Pizza Kitchen and Bob Evans' Cinnamon Cream Stacked & Stuffed Hotcakes--although, if you look at a cross-section of the average Bob Evans consumer, these do not appear to be people overly concerned with their waistline, but DO seem to be eaters who love pancakes stuffed with cake frosting.
The numbers quoted by the science-heads at the CSPI are startlingly bad. There's hardly a thing on the list which does not represent, on a single plate, all the calories a grown man would need in a day and something like three or four times the amount of salt and fat that should be ingested in a single 24-hour period. But as Americans, I think we can do better. Or worse.
I mean, sure... That chocolate tower disaster cake (or whatever it was called) is bad for you, but I believe there's room for improvement. According to the CSPI report, the thing weighs three-quarters of a pound as-is, but what if you were to deep-fry the whole thing, add caramel sauce and stick a couple sparklers in the top? You could call it "The Heartbreaker" and use the business cards of local cardiologists as clever garnishes.
The rack of New Zealand lamb with cabernet sauce from Outback Steakhouse could obviously be improved by slathering them in some kind of corn syrup-derived barbecue sauce served in a gravy boat. And California Pizza Kitchen's Pesto Cream Penne could be massively fattened by serving it in a commemorative bucket filled with alfredo sauce.
I'm just saying, in the land of the Double Down and IHOP Pancake Stackers, we can do better, people. And since it appears that American restaurateurs will not rest until they have turned every one of us into sedentary meat-puffs who can't stand without mechanical intervention and have to wash ourselves with sponges tied to sticks, why pussy-foot around about it? Just bring on the deep-fried lard and gravy IV's and get it over with.